George A. Shurtleff started the Shurtleff Ice Cream Company in 1878 with one ice cream machine powered by horses. The 1880 city directory lists him as “confectioner and restaurant” at 7 Main Street.
By 1884, Shurtleff was serving his ice cream in a parlor at 54 West Milwaukee Street. In 1887, he built a small factory at 57 Park Street (now Water), where he used steam power to make ice cream and other dairy products. Shurtleff’s served Janesville, Southern Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois.
This red brick building at 108 South Main Street was built in 1912 and expanded upon thereafter. The company operated here until 1969 when Shoep’s Ice Cream Company of Madison acquired Shurtleff’s.